Thank you for your responses to this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey for the Washington Mystics. Let’s go through the results!
19 out of 20 people are confident in the Mystics’ direction right now
Like each of our previous Mystics surveys this season, we had about 100 responses, which is good. And in our first question, I’m happy to see that 95 percent of you are confident in the team’s direction. The results ended right before Washington’s first playoff game against the Seattle Storm which they lost.
Why are fans confident?
- “They’ve drafted well and are on a good upward trajectory. They’ve played above their heads in what we thought was going to be a rebuilding year.”
- “With a full offseason’s preparation, Shakira Austin is going to be special. Unfortunately the season starts so soon after the draft, it didn’t give Thibault the time to recognize her ability and incorporate her into his system — he has openly said they didn’t expect her to even contribute significantly and they don’t run anything for her specifically in the offense. She could be almost like our Giannis — elite quickness/athleticism, great length, surprising skill, growing defensive awareness/dominance, growing offensive skill/reliability. Thibault probably knows what he’s doing and will be able to upgrade personnel around her and the rest of the core to strengthen our bid for contention. Despite EDD this postseason won’t be our time, but if Shakira is developed in the right way she will be at least an all star, possibly a transformative piece.”
- “They made the playoffs. One of their best players, guard Ariel Atkins, is only 26 years old and she has signed a contract extension with the Mystics through the 2023 WNBA season. Another key Mystics player early in her prime, Myisha Hines-Allen, is under contract with the Mystics through the 2024 season, as is the young rising star center-forward Shakira Austin. Delle Donne is under contract for another season. The team is pretty good both ways, decent on offense and better on defense.”
- “We played well without EDD. Plus we finessed Atlanta for the #3 pick and 14th pick of this year’s draft and wound up getting another lottery draft pick this coming year thanks to the Los Angeles Sparks.”
And ... why were some fans not confident? Oddly enough, I only had one response, which was this:
- “The Mystics haven’t been as consistent as I’d like to see.”
Most Mystics fans think Natasha Cloud will make the All-WNBA Defense Team again
As the team that finished with the best defense in the WNBA, it should be no surprise that multiple Mystics players will be in contention for an All-Defense mention this season. I am surprised that Cloud received the most votes (and respondents could choose multiple players) at 56 percent. Ariel Atkins surprisingly only had 44 percent of the vote, since she has already made the All-Defense team in each of her four previous seasons in the league.
Alysha Clark had 37 percent of the vote and is two years removed from a First All-Defense team mention.
I’m pretty sure that Atkins and Cloud and/or Clark will make the All-Defense team when the awards come out.
Nearly half of Mystics fans believe that they will make at least the WNBA Finals
If you read the graphic above, it will look like most fans believe that the team will lose in the first round because it was the most picked selection at 32 percent. However, 31 percent selected that the Mystics will make the WNBA Finals (and lose) and another 18 percent selected that they will win the championship.
So Mystics fans are very optimistic about the team’s chances.
Washington plays the Seattle Storm in Game 2 of their playoff series on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET!